Friday, July 27, 2012

I Don't Even Know

I find myself suddenly addicted to this video. I can't help it!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Breakfast of Champions

Happy Birthday to me!

Yes, I'm a whopping 34 years old today! And in celebration, today's plans include: knitting, pool time and chocolate cake. Though not particularly in that order as this was my breakfast:

Birthday Breakfast

Well, that and some of my favorite Keemun. Nummy!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Missing Pieces

Gidget and Bitty are back from the dentist, doped up and either happily (Gidget) or grumpily (Bitty) stoned.

Of course, I don't blame Bitty for being grumpy - she had a lot of work done. Of course, I don't blame Gidget for being happy, either - they are on the good stuff! But it's well deserved. Gidget only had two teeth removed. Bitty, on the other hand...

Bitty's Dental Report

See all those X's? Those are the teeth that she had removed today. (The O's indicate missing teeth.)

That's right, she had ten extractions. Ten! Poor kitty - she was already missing nine teeth and cats only start out with something like 30 teeth. She's got only eleven left now, most of which are the tiny little teeth in the front of her mouth.

See, no wonder she's grumpy, even in her stoned state.

Gidgie had a much easier time with her two extractions (added to her previously missing nine teeth) so the pain meds are doing a lot better killing all of her pain. She's a pretty happy camper right now!

Hopefully we'll be able to say the same about Bitty in a day or two. Poor kitty!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

This Cheers Me Up

I'm a bit under the weather today (got a bad cough, among other things) but fortunately the only remaining work I had on my alpaca hat was pretty simple.

Yes. Was. Past tense. I am done!

Absurd and Almost Done

Well, I do still need to block it and trim the tassel ends, but it's close enough to giggle madly, so I'm sharing!

Yay alpaca hat!

Friday, July 6, 2012

More Alpaca-y Goodness

Well, I'm still a bit brain dead from our weekend road trip - though, okay, actually at this point I'm just a bit brain dead from all the catch up I've been doing. Yesterday was laundry day. Today I need to get the rest of the house up to code. But fortunately, one chore included in that is getting the pool chemicals straight.

That's right! Our pool is finally back! We ended up with a leak in it a bit ago and ordered a new pool body but it arrived the day before we left on our trip so we didn't get to put it up. Naturally, we didn't want to put it up right after we got back either. So evening before last we (and I really mean Dan) set it up and got it filled with water. And last night we (and again, I really mean Dan) got the pump hooked up to it. So that means I can get the chemicals all straight and actually get in it today! Yay! This is good because I feel like I'm turning pasty white again and that's not a happy thought in the middle of summer.

But back to the brain deadness. I can't always knit when my brain is mush, but my alpaca hat doesn't require the ability to count to more than 16 (and in most cases, I just need to count to three or four a few times in a particular order) so I've managed to get a lot of work done on it in the past two days.


Almost Done!

I giggle like a mad woman each time I try on the hat. It's awesomely ridiculous. Ridiculously awesome? I do have a couple of mini issues with it - the end rolls since it is all stockinette stitch and my stitches are a bit uneven in spots - but I'm very confident that blocking will take care of the roll (well, blocking plus the edging the pattern calls for) and hopeful that it will take care of the stitch issue (without stretching the hat too much because currently the fit is perfect!)

I realize this is a bit mad, but I'm kind of contemplating doing a second hat. It's just been such a good knit project (once I got it on my new needles) and I'd like to try to change up the colors a bit (though probably use the same ones just because I have a lot of the yarn left) but I'm not sure what I would need with two alpaca hats. But I think my subconscious wants to give it a try because I actually dreamed about it last night.

Of course, I can always use the charts from the pattern and see about making some matching mittens or something. That'd be ridiculously fun. It would require a bunch of upfront thinking which might eliminate the desire to do it, but I've done knitting-related math before (on this hat (though it ended up unnecessary once I changed needles) and on Dan's gloves) so I really should stop letting it intimidate me.

Which does make me want to state for the record: Algebra? You really do use it after you graduate! (I still haven't found a use for geometric proofs, though.)

Anyway, I'm on the crown of the hat which means it's the last section before finishing so I'm oh-so-close to done. But it also means that my current circular is going to be too big in the not too distant future for me to finish this project. Yes, I could magic loop but I really want to finish it on double pointed needles. That means, though, that the DPNs I ordered need to get here quickly!

Of course, I imagine pool time will slow my knitting down a bit. I don't think those two activities should be combined. At least, not outside of a blog post.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Winner Is AWESOME!

Okay, lately there has been much drama (or, you know, long-winded babbling, whichever you prefer) about my search for the perfect interchangeable knitting needle. Well, I found it which you would think would end the uber-lengthy posts about it, but apparently not. Because, y'all, I got my HiyaHiya stainless SHARPS.

When Dan and I were up in St. Louis this weekend, my in-laws gifted me with an early birthday present. Needles!

New Needles!

OMG. I cannot stop gushing about how fantastic theses are to knit with. I'm sure everyone was getting tired of it at the end of just one day, but I just couldn't help it! Knitting with these puppies is almost magical. Words simply cannot express how delightful these are.

As you can see in the picture above, I'm working on a stranded colorwork hat (alpaca hat!) on my new needles. But what that picture doesn't show is that I started the hat on a different brand of needles (because I didn't own the Hiyas at that point). But I had so many issues knitting with those needles - after just an hour of knitting, my fingers would throb and my hands were just so sore! So when I got my new needles, I promptly restarted the project, this time using just the HiyaHiyas.

That's when the gushing began. To just give you an idea, I knit for almost eight hours straight (with an about 20 minute break for feeding in the middle) on our road trip yesterday. Then my hands started to get a little tired. So one hour of knitting with my old needles versus almost eight hours with my new.

Yeah, I kind of love my HiyaHiyas. Just a bit.

But on to the hat!

Alpaca Hat

Isn't that delightfully obnoxious? The colors don't mesh too much right now, but that's because the earflaps are the "light" colorwork sections and the bit right above it are the "dark". Next up is another "light" section that uses the colors from the earflaps so that should start tying things together a bit more.

At least, that's the general theory. I hope it turns out that way! I also hope it fits me. The pattern is for a 20-21" head and I have a 23" head. So I upped the needle size, which is giving me the perfect gauge for the pattern to end up as 22.9" around. But the bottom is flaring quite a bit from the knitted cast on (I probably should have done that in the US3s before going up a size) but I figure I can get it snugged up at the end since the pattern calls for an attached i-cord around the edges. Also, it seems a lot of people end up with a huge hat so I am a little concerned (even though math says this will work perfectly) but if the i-cord doesn't snug it up enough, I can always felt the hat a little. I think a fuzzy alpaca would be divine.

Also, because stranded colorwork like this has such a messy back (with the unused colors stringing along the inside), I decided to do the earflaps in the round. So the earflaps are double thick and both sides are the right side. I kind of enjoy how that turned out. (Though I do hope blocking will help with my uneven stitches. I tend to be a little messier with colorwork like this. I suppose I just need to practice more!)

So there we have it: my newest knitting project and some gushing about the best needles ever! Whee!

Other posts in my needle hunt saga:
Part I A and Part I B
Part II
Part III
This entry is my gushing about the big winner!
My KA Switch Short set review
And my Chiaogoo Spin and Twist review is here